Fossil Group, worthy winners of our Fashion Tech Collection of the Year award has been busy churning out the wearables over the past twelve months. At the beginning of 2016, the fashion brand promised to launch 100 wearables across and we've done our very best to keep count.
In October it pushed closer to that number by launching 40 new devices with Diesel, Emporio Armani and Kate Spade the latest to get to the connected treatment.
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Following the same design blueprint as the likes of the Skagen Hagen Connected and the Fossil Q Grant, it's continuing to add the same smarts we've seen previously in a subtle way. Whether that's giving you nudge when a notification comes through on your smartphone or counting steps like a fitness tracker.
Those smartwatch-esque features come wrapped up in a traditional watch body so you don't feel like you're wearing a piece of tech on your wrist. At least, that's the idea.
While Fossil's Android Wear smartwatches have been a little underwhelming, it's fair to say that Fossil has had more luck with its smart analogue efforts and the new batch certainly make a good first impression.
The Armani Connected collection falls firmly in the smart analogue category. It's up for grabs in a rose-gold-tone, black, gunmetal and stainless steel finishes with either a three-piece link or leather strap. All aim to stay true to that distinctive Armani watch design and on the whole they achieve that.
Like the Skagen Hagen Connected line, these are stylish, male-friendly watches with very little signs to suggest that they're connected timepieces. The biggest indication is the secondary dial, which let's you quickly glance at your activity tracking progress. All models feature 22mm watch cases so they look far from big on the wrist, although the stainless steel options do have slightly chunkier bodies. The brown leather strap and rose gold combo was definitely our personal favourite and we'd happily spend some time with it.
The Emporio Armani Connected collection of smartwatches is available now from the Emporio Armani Connected web site. Prices start from $245 and go all the way up to $395 for the priciest model.
Diesel's Timeframe collection are typically industrial and bold in terms of looks and build with the customary big watch hands and watch faces you'd expect to see on a 'dumb' Diesel watch. There are four models available in total with the stainless steel body available with a range of leather straps.
They're undeniably hybrid watches designed for men (sorry ladies), while the added connected features thankfully do not add any extra heft to the look and feel. Fossil is also launching a series of Jewels fitness trackers that follow in the footsteps of the Fossil Q Dreamer and Reveler offering basic fitness tracking and phone notification support.
The Diesel Timeframe collection pricing starts at $225 while the Jewel fitness tracker range starts from$150. You can pick them up from the Diesel online store now.
Kate Spade's female-focused wearable collection is led by the Metro Grand hybrid smart analogue watch and is one of the best looking new additions to the Fossil family. It's available in three styles; black and rose gold (above), grey and silver tone and vachetta (tan) and gold tone.
Up close, you can spot the nice watch face detailing of the champagne glasses and the 'cheers!' which is featured on all of the Metro Grand watches. There's a slim 18mm strap to accompany the 39.5mm watch case and it's water resistant, which means it's splash proof but not swim friendly.
Joining the Metro Grand watch range is the Scallop fitness tracker, which counts your steps and tracks sleep and offers all of the same smartwatch-style features as Fossil's other trackers. It's available in range of different styles including a glittery rose gold option and a black version that features the Kate Spade cat motif.
There's no display, so you'll need to rely on your phone and the Kate Spade companion app to view data and customise notifications. The band is made of silicone, which might be great for getting sweaty with but it feels a little cheap when you get your hands on it.
The Kate Spade Metro Grand costs $250 and the Scallop is priced at $125. You can buy them now from the Kate Spade website.
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